tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 11, 2013 2:00am-6:01am EDT
reconvene here. i hope you enjoy the empanadas. i'm still thinking about the last conversation about the use of drones to track poachers and animal populations and i found a fascinating and found myself thinking about the extracurricular activity of coaching 8-year-old play soccer and wondered if i could deploy some drones to help with that hurting task. so a lot of you are here in the morning and that rose up then. rosa brooks is going to give a presentation entitled will be coming from the pentagon's history with drones. rosa is a fellow at the new america foundation as well as professor of law at georgetown university, columnist for foreign policy magazine and is now going to give us a presentation.
>> thank you, on-base and welcome back from the empanadas. but congratulate you. there is fierce competition for his dna. so i am going to shift our focus a little bit. most of the day we've been talking about the nonmilitary and domestic applications of drones, a.k.a. unmanned aerial vehicles, whatever you want to call them. i'm going to keep talking because one word is always edited three. we been talking about domestic and nonmilitary application. i will shift here and talk about the issue in the news much more, which is u.s. strikes overseas, particularly in the context such as pakistan, yemen, somalia and
maybe a few other places as well. perhaps molly, the philippines, battery. when they start by trying to recapitulate for what is and isn't different about drones because this is one of the situations we've heard a lot where it's really hard to disentangle what is an issue of technology in a policy that may be enabled and facilitated by technology, but it's not the same thing. first let me talk about some of the reasons people get upset about drones that are red herrings, not the right reasons to be upset. reasons to be upset but not at drones a fetch. and then things we should be concerned about and has much more to do with policies enabled
by these technologies rather than tech elegies and enough is those. so when we talk about drone strikes, civilian casualties. we often talk about the videogame type towing qualities they seem to enable and worry about whether this leads to a moral disconnect from killing and we talk about the ethics of long-distance killing is that this is something different from other things that have gone before. i suggest is a mostly red herring, civilian casualties. the drone strikes cause casualties? yes, they do. airplanes found by human pilots that drop alms cause unintended civilian casualties. special operation for this cause casualties and it is absolutely reasonable to say we think the
military strategy intact takes the united states is pursuing right now is causing far too many civilian deaths and suffering. that discussion we should have and i'm inclined to agree with it. we should distinguish that because it then it came as a weapons delivery technology, drones are better than the alternative have been able to tell the difference between an intended and unintended target. are targeting is only as good as our intelligence. if we have come intelligence that says those people are militants, terrorists, what have you, if intelligence is on its obligate the unintended target. we were misinformed about the wrong people here that's not an issue of the drone technology. if we target the wrong people because it's, but it's
self-destructive, not in our national interest to attempt to kill every last vote of a can possibly find is also a different issue of u.s. policy and strategy and tactics, not an issue of technology as such. i'm also not super inclined to give a lot of credence to the anxiety that drones or bad. the history of military technology is a history of the evolution of weapon designed to do exactly that from the spear rather the sword to the crossbow to artillery to machine guns. i don't think is qualitatively different nor does it create quality of a different moral and ethical concerns. a pilot client or a thousand feet is pretty long-distance. if anything there's some
evidence that people at the other end of the tech elegies is more up close and personal safety because the nature enables drone pilots to see him in cases in no way a pilot cannot see over an extended. a time in their gone and supervisor kids soccer game. so there's actually a lot of evidence there pretty high rates. poster max stress disorder among drone for exactly that reason that it may be up close and personal in nature in may. this areas in which i don't think drones presents a new issue. but they reduce the perceived cost of using lethal force particularly across borders
outside of traditional battlefield. not as muchpeopas think a nation with sophisticated air defense is more than a match, but certainly ungoverned spaces or nations as weak air defenses are consenting states they enable the sentence we can use force across borders at no risk to ask him a no risk of death to american personnel. cheap lower cost. drones are cheaper than counterparts. they are certainly perceived as cheaper as we develop more they may become less cheap and finally because they enable those doing the targeting to do a better job of ensuring they don't have the people they don't want to hit. they create the illusion they are lower cost in terms of civilian casualties and other
alternatives. the likely unintended deaths if you use other means from a special operations raid are a lot higher in these things combine to make policymakers think if there's a bad guy who we would like to get rid of any foreign country country family can do it in a way that risks no american lines can we do it in a way that minimizes the risk of casualties to other alternative means and for fewer dollars, why not. it reduces the threshold for the decision to use force in foreign country in a way that makes it more tempting and we've seen that. this is a classic mission that we began when we had fewer drones available, use them in touch with them and circumstance is to go after smaller number of higher-level target than what
we've seen in the last two years. in particular, president obama has spread outside of that battlefield in an expanding universe of targets further and further away from any notion of terrorist mastermind an increasingly further and further away from any meaningful link to al qaeda or 9/11 or any imminent threat to the united states directly. take al-shabaab in tamale. not a particularly likable group as far as i know and not a group and they went thanks for sending remotely and in the interest or attack the united states as such. ambitions are primarily local. we've got to take algebra makes it relatively easy so it enables that mission.
so here's what we should be worried about. in some ways the issue of civilian casualties, long-distance killing not because they're not important, but not unique to this technology. their broader issues of strategy or decision to use force in the first place. if those are red herrings, what can we care about? i'm going to arbitrarily distinguish them into two categories, but they're obviously connected to each other. one of those is a set of strategic concerns and the other is concerned about the rule of law. so the strategic thermostats use strikes more and more, i never thought i would be favorably quoting former defense secretary donald rumsfeld, but he famously asked during the iraq war, how do we know if we are creating new terrorists faster than we
can kill them? that's an obvious question to ask about th expanding use of u.s. drone strikes. even if we are right, if intelligence is good, even bad for the children, families, friends, networks. does this actually makes sense if our goal is to reduce long-term threat of terrorist attack against the united states? does this make any sense? because we do know there is ample evidence these are extremely unpopular, perceived as causing many, many civilian casualties airfreight and if you think that could rain down at any moment. it's not a lot of comp relationship the u.s. is trying to get the right people and cause a lot of resentment and anger against the united states. as part of a counterterrorism
>> it's not a problem of drones, but the nature of modern warfare and how we define it. you see a guy on the street, and you take your iphone, hit him on the head with it, kill him, and the police come, and you're arrested, probably charged with criminal homicide, but you say, he was my enemy, it's not going to do you good; right? it doesn't matter. it may surprise authorities as well. the police kill somebody saying he was an enemy of the state, still against the law. no question about it. in ordinary circumstances, we know that. you know, we know what is against the law and what is not, but, obviously, sometimes the ordinary legal rules do not apply. when we're in a war, when the law of war is the body of lay that applies, combat at that particular times in a war are not only permitted to kill enemy
combatants, but under certain circumstances, they are more or less required to do so at risk of being punished themselveses. we have a different set of rules related to the willful killing of human beings and degree, if any, of due process that goes along with that. that's not in and of itself a problem, to have one body of rules were one set of circumstances, one body of rules for another set of circumstances, one body of rules that says it's not okay to kill somebody, and here's the circumstances where it is. it's not necessarily a problem as long as we tell the difference between one set of rules applies and when the other set of rules applies; right? in law professor terms, this is the law of war of so-called the latin way of saying special law that applies to special circumstances, special circumstances being armed conflicts, and the rest of the time we're under next general law saying you can't kill people. the problem is that right now,
we do not know how to categorize threats posed by geographicically defused nonstate actors like al-qaeda and fabled associates. we don't know. they are sort of like war in the sense that some of these organizations can possess the means of lethal force on a scale we previously equated with state action. on the other hand, they are sort of like crime. they occupy a little of app inbetween, and for a long time, we were paralyzed since twins in the sterile debate between, well, is it just war or is it crime? well, if it doesn't look like crime, therefore, it's war, or if it's not war, it must be crime. the fact is it's a little bit of both, and, yet, we have legal frame works that are all or nothing, one or the otherment the problem, though, is that if we have a law of armed conflict, under the law of armed conflict, u.s. drone strike, and if we think that's the body of law that employee applies, they are
lawful. if the law of armed contract applies, when the u.s. strikes a target in yemen or pakistan, kill a combatant under the law of war while they sleep. cause collateral damage as long as it's proportioned, that's okay. if it doesn't apply, they are extrajudicial executions, violating human rights law, and depending, they probably violate the domestic law of the country, the domestic laws of the united states. trouble is right now, we don't have any principle unions of being able to say clearly which it is because we have a concept of armed conflict that stretches from world war ii up to whatever is happening right now in yemen, and i would put it to you this if our notion of armed conflict is so caucasian, that world war ii and what's happening in pakistan or yemen is described, it's not doinged goo. it's not a useful construct.
this is the long term challenge; right? the long term challenge is not a challenge that has to do with drones. long term challenge is a challenge that has to do with thinking through do we need a different set of rules, a different set of international norms governing the cross border use of force for the threats that are war-like in some respects, crime-like in other respects because right now we have a kind of radical indetermine where people with a straight face tell you radically different stories in the same event one saying there's nothing new here, a routine use of force with an arm conflict and one state combating another state, enemies, and what's the problem? there's not review or judges on the battlefield. there's nothing new here. the other folks say, that's not what we have here. what we have here is simple murder. we have here, you know, an abuse of power and deep, deep challenge to the rule of law. i don't think we have a
principled means for being able to say one person is wrong, the other is right, that, to me, is the most scarily thing of all. we need a new frame work for thinking about these problems, so i'm out of time and adam is waving stop signs at me, so i will stop, although, there's much, much more to say. we're not doing questions, adam, are we? no questions permitted. [laughter] just everything i said, write it down -- no, i'd be happy to talk about it more because there is much, much more to be said, but, for now, that's the end.